You’d think that being a CFO would keep Thabang Lumira BAP (SA) fully occupied, but she still finds time for other businesses ventures. She launched a renovations company called Bagaya Projects, and then formed the Bagaya Foundation which she runs together with her husband. The Foundation assist poor families and orphanages as far away as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). She is also involved in a women’s ministry which is aimed at empowering women from all walks of life.
Thabang holds a national diploma in Cost and Management Accounting from Vaal University of Technology and a Diploma in Finance Management from Damelin College. Her first job involved handling accounts and payroll, which gave her the experience to ascend the ranks to finance manager. She later formed her own accounting practice called Lumira Consulting
When asked what achievement stands out from the rest in her career, she says: “The biggest highlight of my career was being appointed as COO in a holding company with 13 subsidiaries and was later appointed CFO. I was the only female in the executive team and youngest, I may add. I brought positive change, establishing structures and equality in a male-dominated entity.” As busy as she might seem, Thabang still manages to mother her two children.
As to the challenges in her career, Thabang says: “I would say one challenge is that we always find men who still believe that they can do and know much better than women and that a woman’s place is in the kitchen. So it’s a matter of working smart, staying true to yourself and having personal limits when dealing with clients especially males.”
Thabang is deeply involved in promoting women’s empowerment, both in her professional capacity and in her women’s ministry, by helping them start businesses and by imparting the knowledge she has of business and life. She is a great believer in self-love, but goes beyond this by helping poor families with groceries and clothes.
She says truly loving, accepting and believing in yourself is a necessary step in getting others to do the same. She also likes to remind women that they are stronger and smarter than they think.
With the lockdown affecting a lot of businesses, Thabang says planning and setting priorities is essential. She video calls her clients in the morning instead of texting them just to create a face-to-face environment, which is the next best thing to a physical meeting. She says she is looking into programmes that will allow her to simplify the way she works and also assist with doing her job much easier with time.
“Having the Saiba BAP designation has given my business an advantage by drawing clients as I’m able to sign off financial statements,” says Thabang. “Being a saiba member gives clients a sense of security knowing that I belong to and registered with a recognised accounting body. The updates and webinars organised by saiba has been so helpful and beneficial to my practice and professional growth. Receiving emails with new or updated information has assisted me in advising my clients on a number of times before they even requested the information and in that way they feel and know that their business is in good hands.”